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Electrician takes case to county commission PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 February 2018 12:35

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ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times



An appeal for a contractor license and a proposal for the county to maintain a road highlight a short list of agenda items for tonight’s regular meeting of the Seward County Commission.

The meeting was moved to today because of Monday’s Presidents Day holiday, and a total of three action items are on the agenda currently, though an option gives the board to add or delete items from the agenda.

The first item concerns Ivan Flores-Silva and determining whether the county was in error in denying his application for a Master Electrical Certificate of Competency and the Electrical Contractor License for Cimarron Electric.

Information in the agenda packet said Flores came before the county commission Aug. 7, 2017, to appeal the denial of his application. The commission granted the appeal and directed county staff to issue both the certificate and license despite Flores not meeting minimum requirements (had not had a Journeyman Certificate of Competency).

“Competency certificates must be renewed annually and renewal requires that the applicant obtain continuing education,” the information said.

According to Kansas statutes and the Seward County Contractor Licensing Code, certificates require proof of completion of not less than 12 hours biennially or six hours annually of approved continuing education.

“Not less than six hours annually shall consist of coed education,” the agenda information said. “The local code specifies that all CEUs (continuing education units) for the current year’s certificate shall be obtained by Dec. 31 of the previous year.”

The information stated Flores did not complete continuing education in 2017, and for this reason, his renewal application was denied. Flores is appealing that decision tonight.

The Seward County Contractor Licensing Code states “If a license is denied, applicant may appeal to the governing body following the hearing procedure listed in this code.” 

• Hearings: All contested matters pertaining to the approval, issuance, suspension, revocation, renewal and reinstatement of licenses, including examinations, shall be heard by the governing body. 

The hearing shall be informal but witnesses shall testify under oath and the governing body shall render a written decision setting forth the relevant findings and conclusions for any action taken. The Chairman or the Chairman’s designee shall preside over the hearing. 

• Hearing Procedure: A hearing shall be held before the governing body after not less than 10 days notice to the contractor and to the complainant setting the hearing date, time and place and stating in general terms the nature of the complaint. 

The written complaint, including any supporting material or documents, shall be provided to the contractor prior to or at the hearing. The burden of proof shall be on the complainant to show, by a preponderance of the evidence presented, that the allegations set forth in the complaint are true. 

If the complainant, or a representative of the complainant, fails to appear at the scheduled hearing, the governing body may nonetheless proceed with the hearing. For good cause shown the governing body may grant a continuance, hold a hearing open, allow additions to the record after the hearing has concluded or take other action in the interest of justice.

The item is pending a decision of the commission. County staff is recommending denial of the application as the applicant has not met the requirements for renewal.

“Staff recommends that the board uphold the minimum requirements for all contractors as the purpose of these requirements is to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the public,” the agenda information said.

Staff is further recommending that, if the commission reverses the decision, Flores should be required to complete 12 hours of continuing education in 2018 in order to renew his certificate and contractor license in 2019.

The second item focuses on a proposal for the county to maintain a road that was opened in 1982 for First National Oil.

“On Aug. 2, 1982, the Board of Seward County Commissioners approved the cost of the right of way for two miles, ($6,200) removing one mile of fence ($10,560) and road construction of approximately $37,500, for a total of approximately $54,260 to open two miles of road and to pay landowners for the right of way and fence and to let First National Oil improve the road as they saw fit,” the agenda information said.

The information further said on June 19, 1989, the commission had discussion to fix the road since the oil company was not maintaining it and then to bill the oil company for the cost because it was their responsibility.

At that time, the information said, commissioner C.J. Wettstein asked that a letter be written to the oil company asking them to fix the road. It was agreed a letter would be written.

The financial impact of the item is unknown, but Kyle Winslow, a local resident, has purchased land and built a home along the access road.

“He is requesting the county maintain the road, and in discussion with commissioner Wettstein, he has indicated he would be willing to help with the cost of this maintenance,” the information said.

Recommendation is for the commission to discuss the matter as a board and provide direction to Seward County Road and Bridge Supervisor Tony Herrman and county administrator April Warden as to how to proceed.

Tonight’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in the commission chambers in the Seward County Administration Building.

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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